Ever since horses were introduced to Hawaii in 1803, horseback riding has been a favorite activity for Island residents and visitors. This is certainly true on the island of Lanai, which boasts wide-open expanses and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Aloha State.
The Stables at Koele
The Stables at Koele offers a number of leisurely horseback adventures designed for riders of various skill levels. The Koele Trail Ride, for example, is a 90-minute walking ride geared for beginners. The excursion follows a wooded trail behind The Lodge at Koele resort. The top of the trail offers sweeping views of Lanai City, The Lodge and the neighboring islands of Maui and Molokai.
Trails and Rides
More experienced riders will head out on the Paniolo Trail, a two-hour escape into the scenic hills. Riders may encounter axis deer, wild turkeys, quail and cattle as they wind through guava groves and patches of ironwood trees. Gorgeous views of the dryland forest of Kanepuu and Lanai City await at the end of the trail.
The recently added Mahana Trail Ride invites visitors to explore the windswept plains of the old Lanai Ranch and enjoy postcard-perfect views of Maui and Molokai. This two-and-a-half-hour tour also includes scenic glimpses of Maunalei Gulch and Lanaihale, the island’s 3,370-foot peak.
The Stables at Koele also offers a number of specialty rides, including a sunset ride, children’s ride and even a “Kuuipo (Sweetheart) Special,” a romantic adventure designed for two. Riding lessons, as well as private trail rides geared for experienced riders, are also available.
Participants must wear slacks and sports shoes. Light jackets or sweaters are recommended. Children must be at least nine years old and stand at least 4’6″ in height to take the Koele Trail Ride. All other trail rides are for participants aged 12 and up. Riders must be able to mount and dismount on their own. There is a maximum weight limit of 225 pounds for riders.